US Soccer President Cindy Parlow believes Women’s football is set for exponential growth. The Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand is expected to be another showcase of a sport on the rise after a club season marked by record-breaking attendance and transfer costs. Women’s football has been for a while in the United States, but according to Cindy Parlow Cone, it is now expanding internationally and will undergo significant change in the next several years.
“Prior to the women’s game becoming widely seen as a sort of charity, supporting the women’s game was merely a nice gesture,” US Soccer President Cindy Parlow said about women’s football. “I believe that investing in the women’s side of the game makes a lot of commercial sense, as we have seen over here in the US for a very long time, and now many other nations, federations, and clubs are catching on to. We are witnessing more support for women’s sports from sponsors, the media, and broadcasters. The fact that there are more spectators in the stands is a tremendous development, and we’ll keep pushing that. I believe that this is only the beginning, you know. The men’s game, in my opinion, will keep expanding, but the women’s game is currently in a position to see exponential expansion.”
This week’s controversy involving England’s players and the FA over performance-based payments for the 2017 World Cup brought attention to the significance of the women’s game. Parlow Cone was a crucial player in the negotiations for the groundbreaking collective bargaining agreements for the US clubs, which made the US the first nation to achieve wage equality for women in football. Men’s and women’s teams’ winnings are combined into one pot and then equally split between the two. While she refrained from openly commenting on the England case, she did highlight the challenges in achieving equal pay and the importance of continuing the upward movement.
“We’ve observed the effects of a lot of other federations making efforts to achieve equal pay or move in that direction, and FIFA just made strides in the right way by guaranteeing players a percentage of the prize money,” she added. “There is still more work to be done, and we will keep working with FIFA and any federations who contact us to learn from our experience. We are glad to assist. But I also believe it’s critical to remember that each federation has the power to take action in the direction of equal pay or equal investment.”
The USA enters the competition as the clear favourite, narrowly ahead of England, and is aiming for an unprecedented third consecutive World Cup victory. In either the men’s or women’s game, that has never been done before. Parlow Cone, who won the championship with the USA in 1999, claimed there was genuine hope in the USA camp that their talent and experience might lead them to victory once more before the victory over Wales.
“There is a lot of enthusiasm. I believe the staff and players are eager to just get in New Zealand so they can settle in and start working on preparations for the Women’s World Cup,” Parlow continued. “I have trust and think that the women’s team will be able to earn the third star in a row and fifth overall. Since you need it to be able to win a World Cup, I’m interested in following this squad over the coming weeks as they develop and evolve as a unit.”
One of those seasoned athletes is Megan Rapinoe, who made the announcement that she will be quitting the game after the conclusion of the 2023 NWSL season. Rapinoe has 199 caps for her country, two World Cups, an Olympic gold medal, and other accolades, so no matter what happens in Australia and New Zealand, she will go down in US football history as one of the greatest players ever. The forward, though, has also gained attention for her influence off the pitch by speaking out against social injustices. Rapinoe will likely remain a powerful presence even when she puts up her boots, according to Parlow Cone.
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